Henda’s Law

*** 17 June, 2011: Governor Perry signed Henda’s Law in Austin! ***

My mission was simple

To pass legislation in Texas to increase education and awareness about dense breast tissue and to help at risk women and those with dense breast tissue get better screening options to detect breast cancer at an early stage. Mammograms save lives but it fails more than 40% of the time to detect tumors in women with dense breast tissue.

June 10, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.: Mr. Vaught, my name is Henda Salmeron. I had to Google you, as I didn’t know who my local state representative was. And I’m sorry, but I also didn’t vote for you. Mr. Vaught, I need you to, no . . . actually . . . I beg you . . . please help me change the standard of care for women with dense breast tissue!

I told Texas Representative Allen Vaught my story and pointed out some of what I’d already learned, namely that almost half of premenopausal women have dense breast tissue. I reminded him we were mothers, sisters, cousins, friends, wives, and often younger women who deserved to know the truth about our breasts. We were not a small minority! He agreed to consider the case.

Note: Allen Vaught was the Texas House Representative for district 107 in 2009 and 2010. He lost his re-election bid and I had to find new supporters to file and sponsor the dense breast tissue bill Vaught drafted.

Texas Legislature Session 2011

House Representative Ana Hernandez sponsored the legislation about dense breast tissue in the House and Senator Rodney Ellis in the Senate – HB2102

The legislation requires that a certified mammography facility approved by the FDA or a certification agency approved by the FDA, shall upon completion of the mammogram provide to the patient  information that contains the following:

Henda’s Law: 

 “If your mammogram demonstrates that you have dense breast tissue, which could hide abnormalities, and you have other risk factors for breast cancer that have been identified, you might benefit from supplemental screening tests that may be suggested by your ordering physician. Dense breast tissue, in and of itself, is a relatively common condition. Therefore, this information is not provided to cause undue concern, but rather to raise your awareness and to promote discussion with your physician regarding the presence of other risk factors, in addition to dense breast tissue. A report of your mammogram results, will be sent to you and your physician. You should contact your physician if you have any questions or concerns regarding this report.”  

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